review for Starship Troopers on AllMovie

Starship Troopers (1997)
by Jason Clark review

This highly ambitious adaptation of the sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein exhibits director Paul Verhoeven's signature flashes of mordant wit, satire, and strong violence. The rare action picture that tries to operate on several levels at once, Troopers uses elements of fascism, Nazi imagery, and World War II propaganda to illustrate its central story: the takeover of futuristic civilization by deadly, ravaging insects. A singular piece of science fiction that achieves its goals -- especially in the notable casting of good-looking, bland performers to underline the army's Aryan-ness -- Verhoeven's film simultaneously parodies and satisfies the public's fascination with media and mass destruction. Troopers is very much a companion to the director's 1987 hit RoboCop, which dealt with similar issues in a comparably cheeky tone, without losing its ability to be a grand entertainment. Though it was a mid-level success, Troopers failed to achieve blockbuster status, considering its $100 million budget. Encouragingly, though, the film is widely recognized in cult circles as a telling critique of the absurdity of wartime values.